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Handy Safety Solutions: 10 Nail Gun Safety Tips

- May 24, 2017 by Mike Pettit (View all posts by Mike)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 37,000 emergency room visits are from nail gun-related incidents each year. While nail guns are invaluable tools, they can be extremely dangerous tools when used incorrectly.

Nail gun injuries have been on the rise along with the increased popularity of these powerful tools. Injuries include puncture wounds when nails shoot directly into hands, fingers, and legs – other injuries include those affecting the eyes when the nail is misdirected and/or when the material is displaced.

These injuries are preventable – consider the following key elements for preventing injuries:

1 – Prior to operating a nail gun, the owner’s manual should be reviewed to identify all precautions and warnings – even if you’ve operated a nail gun before, a different brand of nail gun may have different hazards

2 – Before each use, the nail gun should be inspected for any damage and lodged particles such as wood or nail sleeve adhesives – always disconnect the tool before clearing jams or performing other maintenance

3 – All nail guns must have a safety trigger mechanism (sequential trip systems are recommended, as these require specific actions for the gun to fire each time) – the safety features including the trigger mechanism should never be disabled or circumvented

4 – Keep co-workers and bystanders away from the immediate work area – never shoot into a board or piece of plywood without knowing exactly what is on the other side

5 – Always keep hands and fingers out of the line of fire, and aim the nail gun away from the body

6 – Make sure the nail gun is placed firmly against the work piece – do not attempt to complete a task with the nail gun aimed at an angle as this may result in a nail deflection

7 – Never carry or handle a nail gun with a finger on the trigger as this may cause a misfire

8 – Never point the tool at anyone, even if it is empty or disconnected from the air supply

9 – Never assume the nail gun is empty

10 – Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment including eye, hearing, and hand protection

Following the above 10 Nail Gun Safety Tips should assist you in preventing such an incident – take a look at your practices and use these tips to reduce injuries, save lives, and promote safe work practices within your company.